Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Spirit

I had bud buttered toast for breakfast yesterday and spent the rest of the day, riding my bike, ostensibly Christmas shopping, but mainly marveling at the hilariously beautiful day Seattle. The colors were particularly vibrant, especially during the few rain-free hours we enjoyed in early afternoon. As I pedaled through the arboretum, it was all I could do not to fall off my bike laughing at how many shades of green lay behind the yellows and pinks positively glowing in the sunshine. Admittedly, some of shimmering was a function of the mental state I was in, but I think a case can be made that it’s always there, I just don’t usually notice it.

The wind was blowing from the southwest; consequently, my ride north was turbocharged; I flew up Stone Way from the water without even breaking a sweat—and this was on the single-speed. Anytime I turned into the wind, though, it was an entirely different story; it really was like two completely worlds.

Reflecting on this, I had the sort of profound revelation of an obvious insight so typical of cannabis consciousness: it struck me once again how so many of the world’s conflicts and disagreements are simply the result of truly different perspectives on the same data. The reason we get holy wars over so many issues is the people are, in actual fact, experiencing the exact same situation in radically, even diametrically-opposed way.

Now, this sort of deep epistemological subjectivism is anathema to the philosophical tradition in which I was trained; I flinch when anyone starts talking about their “truth” in contrast to someone else’s “truth.”

Still, for a few hours, it all became clear: I saw how Republicans and Democrats, Moslems and Christians, PC and Mac users could all get along: just by realizing that their own view of the world is but one among many.

And isn’t this like what that Christmas dude meant when he said “love your enemies?”


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